Institute of Transportation Studies • Ziman Center for Real Estate
Case Laws Relating to Measure S
Open-source ways to access references below
Note, does not provide internal pagination information for cases.
California Judicial Branch
Note, only usable for recent opinions, database is not searchable. These opinions are so-called Slip Opinions, so they will not have the final pagination present in an officially published opinion.
This website is useful, sometimes. It will give you other cases citing the case you’re searching, but because it uses Google’s search algorithm, any word in your search that appears in another opinion will cause that opinion to pop up. So you get a lot of useless results to wade through.
- Cannot amend City Charter by ordinance. Initiative is enacting new ordinance, which may be a disguised City Charter amendment. Citizens for Responsible Behavior v. Superior Court (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 1013.
- Distinction between legislative and administrative/executive acts. Legislative acts of a Charter City are amenable to initiatives and referenda. Cannot enact administrative acts by way of initiative/referendum. Yost v. Thomas (1984) 36 Cal.3d 562.
- Adopting or amending a general plan is a legislative function. Building Industry Assoc. of Central California v. County of Stanislaus (2011) 190 Cal.App.4th 582.
- Approval of a development agreement is a legislative act. Neighbors in Support of Appropriate Land Use v. County of Tuolomne (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 997.
- The issuance of a CUP is a quasi-judicial administrative action. Neighbors.
- A zoning ordinance must provide at least some criteria to govern its operation. Friends of Davis v. City of Davis (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1004.
- Any zoning decision, whether made by local governing body or local electorate, must be consistent with relevant general plan and if not consistent with general plan, is invalid when passed. Merritt v. City of Pleasanton (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 1032.
- In addition, a zoning ordinance must bear a substantial and reasonable relationship to the public welfare, and an arbitrary and discriminatory zoning decision is an invalid exercise of the police power. Merritt.
- A development agreement is a legislative act that can be disapproved by referendum. Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, LLC v. Town of Mammoth Lakes (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 435.
- The people cannot enact an ordinance that the legislative body itself is not empowered to enact. Hermosa Beach Stops Oil Coalition v. City of Hermosa Beach (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 534.
- Ordinance re property use will be upheld against a due process attack unless its provisions are clearly arbitrary and unreasonable. Baker v. City of Santa Monica (1986) 181 Cal.App.3d 972.
- Protected property interests cannot be terminated by the government without procedural due process protections and then only for cause. Anchor Pacific Management Co. v. Green (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 232.
- Private conduct that becomes “so entwined with governmental policies or so impregnated with a governmental character” can “become subject to the constitutional limitations placed upon state action. Anchor.
- Procedural due process protections come from the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 7 of the California Constitution. Anchor.
- New laws cannot be applied retroactively if that application impairs vested rights. Stewart Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Oakland (2016) – Cal.Rptr.3d --, 16 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6626.
- Under state constitutional due process clause, claimant need not establish a property or liberty interest as a prerequisite to invoking due process protection. Chorn v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 1370.
- BUT, he must identify interest of which he has been deprived in order to trigger procedural DP under state constitution. Chorn.
- Due process rights must be evaluated in context that the principle that freedom from arbitrary adjudicative procedures is a substantive element of one’s liberty. Chorn.
- Adoption of general plan by city council is legislative act. Yost v. Thomas (1984) 36 Cal.3d 561.
- Amendments to city general land use plan are legislative acts. Yost. Because they are legislative, they can be made by referendum.
- In charter cities, residents may enact zoning provisions by initiative and bar the city council from altering or repealing the zoning established by initiative. Builders Assoc. of Santa Clara-Santa Cruz Counties v. Superior Court (1974) 13 Cal.3d 225.
- A city charter can be amended by a majority of the electorate; an ordinance cannot later limit or amend the charter amendment. Citizens for Responsible Behavior v. Superior Court (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 1013.
- If the electorate enacts a legislative measure the governing body could have itself enacted, then such measure may, pursuant to Elections Code section 9125, circumscribe the power of future governing bodies. DeVita v.County of Napa (1995) 9 Cal.4th 763.
- “The state constitutional right of initiative or referendum is one of the most precious rights of our democratic process.” Citizens for Planning Responsibly v. County of San Luis Obispo (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 357.
- Because the power of initiative or referendum is “reserved” to the people, rather than “granted,” the courts must “jealously guard” these rights and “construe the relevant constitutional provisions liberally in favor of the people’s right to exercise the powers of initiative and referendum.” Citizens for Planning Responsibly.
- “In the land use context, both zoning ordinances and general plans are subject to amendment by initiative.” Citizens for Jobs and the Economy v. County of Orange (2002) 94 Cal.App.4th 1311.
- When a vote of the general public is required on a project, rather than a policy, it “essentially imposes procedural hurdles upon the planning process.” Procedural hurdles that limit the ability of a legislative body to carry out its duties are not properly the subject of legislative action and therefore are not subject to enactment by initiative. Citizens for Jobs.
- Any initiative that violates article II, section 12 of the California Constitution is null and void. Hernandez v. Town of Apple Valley (2017) Slip. Op. E063721 (4th App. Dist.) at Article II, section 12 provides, “No amendment to the Constitution, and no statute proposed to the electors by the Legislature or by initiative, that names any individual or any office, or names or identifies any private corporation to perform any function or to have any power or duty, may be submitted to the electors or have any effect.”
The Road to and From Los Angeles’ Measure S: Case Law Reading List |